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House committee receives federal tax returns from Donald Trump

The House Ways and Means Committee now has six years of Donald Trump’s federal tax returns, ending a years-long quest by Democrats to investigate one of the former president’s most closely guarded personal details.

“The Treasury complied with last week’s court decision,” a Treasury spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday (30).

The spokesperson did not provide any additional information. Federal courts ruled that the House could ask for six years of Trump’s remarks, after the committee asked for them in 2019 and again in 2021, according to public court records.

Delivery was suspended until the Supreme Court declined to intervene last week. Several judges, including Republican appointees, found that the House had the power to request returns from the IRS, short for the federal agency Internal Revenue Service.

Treasury declined to say whether committee members had accessed the documents, according to a Treasury official.

The committee, led by Democratic Representative Richard Neal of Massachusetts, sought six years of Trump’s tax records, mostly from the time he served as president. This included records about Trump personally and several from his corporate entities.

The panel plans to meet on Thursday to be briefed on the legal ramifications of the section of the tax law that Neal used to request Trump’s tax returns, according to an aide to Neal.

Democrats are not expected to review the tax returns this session, and the documents are not expected to be immediately released to the public.

House General Counsel Doug Letter plans to brief the panel on section 6103 of the tax law at the meeting, which is a weekly session the committee’s Democrats have when they’re not in recess.

Neal refused to tell the CNN whether he was in possession of Trump’s tax documents, saying the law strictly prohibits him from discussing the status of the returns. Earlier Wednesday, the congressman also declined to say whether he would publicly release any of the documents.

“The next step is to have a Democratic caucus meeting,” Neal said.

Trump’s legal team has continually sought to keep his statements secret and appealed to the Supreme Court – made up of three of his nominees – after he lost at the lower court level.

“No Congress has ever exercised its legislative powers to require a president’s tax returns,” Trump argued at the Supreme Court, warning of the “far-reaching implications” of the DC Circuit decision.

He argued that the lower courts’ handling of the House’s request ran counter to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Mazars case, concerning a subpoena the House issued to Trump’s accounting firm for its tax information.

Trump’s taxes have largely been a mystery since he ran for office.

During his 2016 campaign, Trump broke presidential election norms and refused to submit his tax returns for public review, and they remained private after he took office.

Being under IRS audit does not preclude someone from disclosing their tax returns publicly. But that hasn’t stopped Trump from using it as a defense against disclosure of his financial information.

In 2016, Trump released a letter from his tax attorneys that confirmed he was under audit. But the letter also said that the IRS had finished reviewing Trump’s 2002-2008 taxes.

Trump did not release his tax returns from those years, although the audits had ended.

An extensive 2020 New York Times report found that Trump paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the 15 years beginning in 2000 because he reported losing significantly more than he earned.

Source: CNN Brasil

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